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Museum Media

Welcome Museum Visitors

   Welcome to our new virtual museum. The front door is just a click away and the walls and hallways are endless... Here you will journey through our past, relive our historic events, visit with the founding fathers, and follow the path of the first explorers all while learning something new about the people, places, and culture that makes St. Charles Parish our home. The St. Charles Museum and Historical Association invites you to come in, stay awhile and visit us often. We have a unique story to share with the world.

St. Charles Parish History Overview


The history of St. Charles Parish reaches back to the earliest settlements in the Louisiana territory, that vast expanse of land later known as the Louisiana Purchase. France’s claim to this huge amount of territory hinged on colonizing it and developing the riches of the land. Few Frenchmen of substance were willing to leave the relative comfort of 18th Century France. However, they were happy to accept concessions of land in what was then called “the Mississippi”, but were unable to obtain settlers needed for colonization. Forced emigration of undesirables was the first remedy of the French government. But Sieur de Bienville, governor of the territory, complained so bitterly about the quality of these immigrants that the practice was stopped within a few years...

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• Third oldest settlement in Louisiana (after Natchitoches and New Orleans), older than the nation itself
• Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River
• One of Louisiana’s most affluent parishes
• Intricately linked for centuries to its religious namesake, the Ecclesiastical Parish of St. Charles Borromeo
• Traces its heritage to both John Law’s Company of the West and the original colonists who settled the “German Coast” from 1719 to 1722, leaving many descendants who continue to live here today carrying on for generations the traditions of their ancestry!

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In 1807, St. Charles Parish was named for the Ecclesiastical Parish of St. Charles, which served its parishioners in colonial times and in succeeding centuries at its present location in Destrehan. Charles Borromeo was born of noble birth on October 2, 1538, in a castle on Lake Maggiore in Italy. His father was Count Gilbert Borromeo and his mother was a Medici of Milano. While studying civil and canon law at the University of Paris, Charles acquired the reputation of being a paragon of virtue and humility. He earned his doctorate at age twenty-two. When his uncle, Cardinal de Medici, was named Pope Pius IV in 1559, he named Charles as cardinal-deacon and administrator of Milano or the secretary of state of the Vatican. In 1563, at the age of twenty- five, Charles was ordained a priest...

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